Barnegat, NJ Board of Ed non-maskers can’t be arrested (Opinion)
It’s true that both masking and not masking have become become political statements in 2021. But the fact is, for some people it’s not political. For some people it’s about freedom. And freedom and liberty are not political issues. They are unadulterated rights we have here in this country.
The issue of masking up in schools will always be a contentious one. This week in particular as students return to classrooms, there are going to be people who feel strongly for and against and reports of police officers manning the entrances to schools across the state are a testament to how high tensions run over this particular topic.
The Board of Education members are volunteers. They should be commended for the work they do.
After four members of the Barnegat BOE showed up to an August meeting without a mask, the head of the local teacher’s union decided to sick cops on these people by filing separate complaints with the local police and notifying the New Jersey attorney generals office.
What are the police going to do about non-maskers? Arrest them? On what charge?
What many fail to realize is this: only the state legislature can pass laws. Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 253 that requires a mask be worn "whenever you're in a school building, not just when school is in session,” is not a law, because it didn’t go though the proper legislative process to become a law.
In this country, one guy can’t make laws—Emergency or no emergency. And it’s a scary place we’ve gotten to when this is even a possibility. So even if the police arrest somebody for not wearing a mask and not following the rules, the case will never hold up in court. It has been argued that the mandating of mask wearing can actually be considered constitutional because of constitutional limitations that exist for “public health”.
Still not a law.
But regardless of whether you think mask mandates are constitutional or not, no one can argue that in this country one man does not have the right to make laws.
So call it what you want—an order, a command, an edict. It ain’t a law. And therefore you can’t be arrested for non compliance. I mean you CAN, because, Jersey. But any good constitutional attorney worth his salt can litigate it right out the window. “Breaking” the rules of the governors endless “executive orders” does not a criminal make.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.